Eating healthy while traveling is perhaps one of the most difficult jobs that a health-conscious individual may encounter. Between tight traveling itineraries and the foods that are available, more often than not even those who are health minded will find they have fewer choices than the family who will just swing through the nearest fast food restaurant. Thankfully, however, there is a way to ensure that even while traveling you can avoid the lapse into unhealthy eating. This could be for long term travel like vacations or even just short jaunts away from the home.
Tips for Eating Healthy ‘On the Go’
Brown Bag It. Whether you are looking at a full-scale lunch or just snacks, the best (and least expensive) way to eat healthfully while traveling is to pack your own snacks or lunches. Mind you brown bagging your food does not usually work if your travel involves airports, but for cars, busses and trains a carefully planned lunch or snack can save you money and guilt. Of course if you plan on eating your own lunches you will need to plan your stops accordingly and opt for rest areas or public parks instead of strip malls or convenience stations for your meal breaks. For packing snacks and meals I like LunchBots. They are perfect for veggies, fruit, and sandwiches. I also like to take Lara bars with us for snacks on the go.
I also REALLY like the stainless steel food containers from Fill Your Own. The blue container in the photo above is from this Canadian store. It is from their Panda Play collection. I packed these up recently with cherries and other fresh foods for us to take with us to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I have no qualms about taking outside food into these places because the food they offer there is terrible. I either put them in my purse or in one of the matching reusable bags that Fill Your Own sells. Snacking on cherries and Lara bars during the movie beats popcorn for sure.
Choose Wisely. When traveling it is a fact that ‘fast’ food is often the most convenient. But just because you are pressed for time – or because it the most accessible – doesn’t mean that you have to settle for unhealthy choices. If packing a lunch is not an option and you really are pressed for time, there are plenty of healthy choices when it comes to ‘fast food’ restaurants. Subway and Chipotle are two restaurants that come immediately to mind when thinking about healthier food choices. At Subway I will get a 6 inch veggie sub and at Chipotle I get a vegetarian burrito bowl. For family meals I also really like Bob Evans because they have fresh fruit plates and yogurt as meal choices for kids and adults.
Plan Ahead. Many times poor eating habits while traveling isn’t necessarily about a lack of time – or even a lack of choices – but rather a lack of planning. You rush and rush in order to get ready, but fail to eat breakfast before you leave for the airport, or bother to pack a snack for the drive, and so it is easier to just pull into a fast food joint or grab a quick bite at the airport. By planning ahead and eating before you leave, or scheduling a real dinner for after you arrive, or packing a lunch for while you’re on the road, you can avoid many unhealthy food choices.
Your choices may be limited while traveling, but you do still have choices, and no matter what your mode of transportation, you can still exercise your will power when it comes to healthy eating options and rest assured that you don’t have to stop eating healthy just because you are on the road.
What is your favorite way to deal with meals on the go or eating healthy while traveling?
Monday, July 18th, 2011